Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:57 PM
Ghost Dog (13,291 posts)
Obama’s social media machine...
Last edited Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:01 PM - Edit history (1)
An Internet marketing system named Narwhal, used by President Barack Obama to help gain re-election, may be turned loose to help shape the public debate...
... The super-smart database system is credited with helping change the math of how modern elections are run, by greatly aiding the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote effort.
And it looks like Narwhal hasn’t sailed into the sunset just yet...
(Slate, Feb. 15, 2012)... (A)s part of a project code-named Narwhal, Obama’s team is working to link once completely separate repositories of information so that every fact gathered about a voter is available to every arm of the campaign...
... This year’s looming innovations in campaign mechanics will be imperceptible to the electorate, and the engineers at Obama’s Chicago headquarters racing to complete Narwhal in time for the fall election season may be at work at one of the most important. If successful, Narwhal would fuse the multiple identities of the engaged citizen—the online activist, the offline voter, the donor, the volunteer—into a single, unified political profile.
Traditionally, even the campaigns most intent on gathering varied types of data have had little strategy for getting all the information to work together... By the time campaign officials realized that they were agglomerating unprecedented volumes of political information—and that it would all become more valuable as it was allowed to mingle across categories—it was too late to rebuild their systems to make that sort of data-sharing easy. Even as the outside world marveled at their technical prowess, Obama campaign staffers were exasperated at what seemed like a basic system failure: They had records on 170 million potential voters, 13 million online supporters, 3 million campaign donors and at least as many volunteers—but no way of knowing who among them were the same people...
In a campaign that has grown obsessed with code-naming its initiatives, the integration project is known as Narwhal, after the tusked Arctic whale whose image (via a decal) adorns a wall adjacent to the campaign’s engineering department, as first reported by Newsweek. Narwhal remains a work-in-progress... Like much of what changes politics this year, Narwhal will remain below the surface, invisible to the outside world.
“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).
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